There is just something about Fall that makes me pick up very specific books. I mean, sure, I will read just about any book at any time but I *am* a person who reads based upon their mood and sometimes the weather or the seasons will affect that.
All during the Fall I find myself craving mysteries, horror, murder-y type books, thrillers, supernatural, Gothic lit, dark and atmospheric or just anything that has a real ~Fall vibe~…..don’t ask me to define what that is for you…it’s just a FEELING that I get.
So, I figured I’d put together a list of a list of books perfect for your Fall/Halloween reading needs — whether you like scary books or prefer less scary and more mystery or atmospheric. Some of the books I’ve read and some are on MY must read list for this Fall!
As I Descended by Robin Talley: I just finished this one and woo boy, I won’t lie, I started getting a little jumpy reading this retelling of Macbeth at night. It’s Mean Girls meets the scariest thing you can imagine to come from messing with a Ouija board all with an atmospheric boarding school setting.
Follow You Home by Mark Edwards: A trip of a life time for one couple turns into a nightmare and the nightmare doesn’t end when they finally get home — even despite their refusal to talk about what they saw and endured that night.
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis: If you like your Fall/Halloween read to be of the not-so-scary variety but a rather forceful atmospheric ~Fall feeling~, this is it. It’s a Gothic historical mystery of sorts set in an insane asylum.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco: If a story about a girl trying to figure out who Jack the Ripper is doesn’t scream “Halloween read” than I don’t know what does! It’s a gruesome historical thriller, light on the scares, and it has a good dose of defying the patriarchy and society constructs for a woman!
The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders: If a cozy historical (Victorian) mystery is more your speed for a Halloween/Fall read, this first book in a new mystery series is a good one to pick up! Laeticia Rodd is a fiery lady private inspector and solving this mystery with her is a perfect way to spend a chilly Fall day.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Blood-thirsty and savage horses that are raced every November where people die every year? An atmospheric island in the Fall? A headstrong girl who decides to be the first girl to race in this deadly race? A returning champion who is indebted to the boss he races for? It’s perrrrrrrfect.
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: Not your typical monster story! This gritty and dark urban fantasy novel where violence creates actual deadly monsters and the land is run by two competing gangs is a perfect Halloween read for someone looking for a unique spin on monsters.
Arrowood by Laura McHugh: Is a gothic mystery your idea of a perfect Fall read? Check out a book about a woman, whose sisters vanished during her childhood, as she returns to the house she grew up in to figure out the mystery of what happened to her sisters.
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly: If a good historical mystery set in New York City is your cup of tea, I say pour yourself an actual cup of tea and sit down with this page-turner!
Wytches by Scott Snyder: If you enjoy a good horror story in the form of comics, check out the chilling first volume of Wytches. The mythology of the witches in this one is so fascinating and creepy!
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich: If you are looking for something dark, creepy and sinister…this one, written in a unique format, should be on your list! Leave the lights on while you sift through police records, diary entries and more to determine what ACTUALLY happened at Elmbridge High.
A Taste For Monsters by Matthew Kirby: Another book where Jack the Ripper is terrorizing a city but this time with a little more of a paranormal twist in that the ghosts of his victims are haunting a man, called The Elephant Man due to birth defects, and he sends his maid, a young girl disfigured by her previous job, out into the city to try to get peace for the victims.
Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig: If you are looking for a thriller that is NOT of the scary variety, check this one out! Unravel the mystery of the disappearance of Flynn’s girlfriend along side of him as he learns the secrets she kept while trying to keep his own secrets from being revealed.
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich: If the thought of a haunted manor surrounded by a creepy and dark forest ( that lets you in but doesn’t let you out) appeals to your senses…pick this one up!
Fractured by Catherine McKenzie: If a suspenseful contemporary read is your idea of a Fall/Halloween, I’ve got you covered with the story of a woman who has been stalked since the publication of her book and the move to her new town doesn’t seem to bring the sort of normal she had hoped for.
A Study In Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas: Check out this gender-swapped re-imagining Sherlock Holmes from Sherry Thomas if you like a good mystery in your life!
The Family Plot by Cherie Priest: If you are looking for an adult fiction haunted house story of sorts, look no further! Ghosts and buried secrets and an old creepy house!
The Vanishing Year by Kate Morretti: If you like ~domestic thrillers~ add this book to your Halloween/Fall list! It’s about a woman, living a life of luxury in elite society, whose secrets from the life she left behind are coming back to haunt her.
Ink & Bone by Lisa Unger: A woman with supernatural abilities is drawn into an investigation of a missing child in this mismash of the supernatural and thriller genres.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix: Like your scary books with a dose of the 80’s in them? Check out this book about a girl who thinks her best friend is possessed!
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys: Want your Fall/Halloween reading to be in small doses? Check out this short story collection filled to the brim with thrillers and horror stories!
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey: Is your idea of a perfect Fall/Halloween read come in the form of real ghost stories? Check out this book that chronicles the history of haunted places all around America!
The Dead Girl’s of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender: Imagine if your new home used to be an insane asylum. That’s the situation the main character in this book finds herself in this young adult horror novel. Oh, and there are ghosts that roam and secrets abound that she must figure out before she loses everything she loves! A great YA horror novel!
How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather: Imagine being the descendant of one of the men who started the Salem Witch Trials and moving to Salem where you are not really welcomed with open arms because of your ancestry — especially by a group of girls who calls themselves The Descendants. If the main character’s own Mean Girls saga wasn’t bad enough, she then meets a ghost and finds out she is tied to a curse that affects anybody with any ties to the trials.
Hope you can find a good read to settle in with to get you in the Fall/Halloween mood! I would LOVE to hear your best recs of all genres that you think are totally awesome Fall/Halloween reads!!
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